Copland ~ Fanfare for the Common Man (1942)

Aaron Copland was a revered 20th-century American classical composer. Fellow composer Ned Rorem said, “Thanks to Aaron, American music came into its own.”

Aaron Copland
Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland was probably the best-known and most popular American composer of classical music in the 20th century. In her extensive two-volume biography of the man author Vivian Perlis quotes fellow composer (and author/critic) Ned Rorem:

“Aaron stressed simplicity: Remove, remove, remove what isn’t needed…. Aaron brought leanness to America, which set the tone for our musical language throughout [World War II]. Thanks to Aaron, American music came into its own.”

His Fanfare — performed here as a stand-alone piece by Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra — re-appears in his Third Symphony.

Personal connection: I saw Copland conduct his music with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1976 as part of the bicentennial celebration. It’s the only concert I can ever recall where the conductor received a standing ovation just as he first walked on stage — before even conducting a note.

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